05-01-13 | Blog Post

2013 ETA Expo Keynote: 
The Mobile Commerce Revolution

Blog Posts

Online Tech is exhibiting PCI hosting solutions at the 2013 ETA (Electronic Transactions Association) Annual Meeting & Expo at booth #1237. The conference will be held in New Orleans from April 30-May 2 at the New Orleans Convention Center.

The Mobile Commerce Revolution
Speaker: Michael Abbott, CEO, Isis

Mike opened his presentation by explaining that mobile technology isn’t new thing, it’s been around for over 10 years. Nokia was already experimenting with mobile technology in the early 2000’s…

So… ‘why now?’ Why is this technology coming to the forefront now?

Abbott notes that mobile phones are our personal representation. Find someone under 25 who has a landline. It’s virtually impossible. A decade ago, cameras weren’t on phones. By the end of this year half of all the pictures taken in the us will be taken on a mobile phone.

Why does the consumer want this technology?

Mike shared the example of consumers sifting through coupons on the weekends. They first had to search out coupons from the  stores they wanted to shop at and then they had to match the  coupons in the aisles of the grocery store. Is that really 21st century technology? Is that what we should be doing right now? Instead of your wallet being a repository for receipts, with mobile technology, it can become a two way communication channel. Putting the consumer/merchant back in control. That’s the goal of mobile payments.

Mike showed the audience a slide of statistics, breaking down where consumers are at in the adaption process of mobile technology showing that:

  • 86% of consumers polled were interested in adopting a Mobile Wallet
  • 73% want to add retail coupons to their Mobile Wallet.

What is it going to take for consumers to adopt a mobile wallet?

It’s not a technology problem, it’s a business system problem. A four-sided market needs to be developed to include the following:

Mobile Operators

  • Need standards everyone can adopt
  • Needs to be scalable
  • Build a supply chain
  • Create a reason to invest.


  • They want something secure
  • They need it to represent scale
  • And they want something that is better than using cards


  • They want communication with their customers
  • It needs to be for all vendors, not just can’t just be for the big guys


  • They want what they have right now in their wallet, but on their mobile  phones
  • It needs to make their life simpler.

Isis is a platform for the industry in mobile technology. How that works:

For banks: They want to be sure they are secure and one-to-one communication channel. Isis does not want to push their brand in front of their partners, because consumers still want to still see their card brand in their mobile wallet.

For Merchants: They want a rich two-way communication channel with their consumers, delivering loyalty cards and coupons automatically that the consumer has selected.

Mobile Tips From Isis

  • Choice – Everything must be built on choice for the consumer. From their choice in carrier to their choice of the cards they keep in their wallet. At the end of the day, the consumer should always be in charge of their choice.
  • Privacy – Privacy means good business. Consumers need to feel secure with their wallet. Your wallet doesn’t spy on you today, it shouldn’t do that tomorrow.
  • Security – Easy to create something with billions of apps, but if you are going to transfer from plastic cards to mobile wallet, it MUST be secure.

In wrapping up his keynote address, Mike pointed out that consumers want what they already have, but in an easier to use format. Businesses can use mobile technology and make it contextually and time relevant to the consumer at point of sale. They’re making the world clickable and your phone is becoming your mouse.

What we learned as key takeaways:

  1. Control – The consumer is being put in control of everything in their wallet.
  2. Simplicity- Consumers want simplicity and want to be able to know how to pay with their phone first.
  3. Magical- Consumers think the technology is awesome
  4. Viral – Al it takes is one time to teach the consumer and after that they “get it” and it goes viral because they show others.

How other companies can get in the game:

  1. Go contactless now
  2. Rethink your value propositions – It’s all about partnerships. No way a central corporation can plan out the technology on a large scale.
  3. Start small. Think big. Scale fast.  – Everything Isis does in regards to their technology starts small and they perfect that technology. When they get the right “elixir:, they can scale it out fast.

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